Retail sales rose 2.1% in February, recovering some ground from a steep fall in January.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said sales were still down by 3.7% on a year earlier, before the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Food and mixed department stores benefitted from essential retailers remaining open, it said, though clothing shops continued to struggle.
Outdoor furniture and DIY sales were strong with people stuck at home.
Jonathan Athow, ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics, said anecdotal evidence from retailers suggested people had been spending on home improvements and on outdoor furniture, as people prepared for lockdown easing, which will allow gatherings in gardens again in England and Northern Ireland next week.
Scotland and Wales already have already eased rules about outdoor mixing.
News Source:- BBC